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Course Description

What is your story? What is a story of your life that you want to write? In what voice will you write that story? What writing container can best bring shape to this story of your life?  

Join this intensive writing course, where we will develop strategies to write our own stories, the stories of our lives. Through a combination of discussions, workshopping, lectures, and writing exercises, you will learn about and practice applying literary tools and techniques from creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry to memoir writing. We will experiment with different elements of craft (including the journey of a story, narrative voice, and literary structures) and consider the implicit challenges and ethical implications of writing memoir.  

Upon completion of the course, you will have written and revised two pieces of writing (a flash memoir and a longer memoir story). While this course is not focused on planning out a book-length memoir or autobiography, the skills students develop in the course can be applied to a longer manuscript.   

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Respond to a variety of readings from published authors to investigate memoir as a genre
  • Explain different approaches to the journey of a piece of memoir and apply one to your own writing
  • Incorporate various literary devices, including dialogue, description, character development, imagery, sound, and rhythm, into your memoir writing
  • Participate in substantive discussions of memoir writing and approaches to form and style to share your learnings with other students and learn from others
  • Engage in a writing practice with other writers to experiment with your writing style and your role as a narrator
  • Provide supportive feedback to others and demonstrate the application of feedback provided through workshopping your work
  • Identify the implicit challenges inherent in writing true stories and the ethics of memoir
  • Demonstrate the use of memoir styles and techniques in your own writing by creating and revising a portfolio of writing

Course Topics

  • What Is Memoir? What Is Your Story?
  • How Will You Tell Your Story?: Structures, Containers, Vessels
  • What Is Your Role as Narrator?
  • What Is the Journey of Your Story?
  • Tools from Fiction: Characterization, Dialogue, Plot
  • Tools from Poetry: Sound, Rhythm, Imagery, Tone
  • The Revision Process
  • Ethics, Honesty, Publishing, and the Writing Life

Additional Requirements

  • This course is intended for adult learners who are at least 18 years of age.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.
  • You may take this as an individual course.
  • You do not have to register in the Creative Writing Certificate to take this course.


Assessment Item Weight
Discussion and Workshop Participation 30%
Flash Memoir 20%
Long-Form Memoir 20%
Final Portfolio 30%
Total 100%

Please note the course assessment is subject to change.

Sponsoring Partner

School of English and Theatre Studies, College of Arts



Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Writing your own Story
6:30PM to 9:00PM
October 17, 2024 to December 05, 2024
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Virtual
Delivery Options
Remote Instruction  
Course Fee(s)
Tuition Fee $549.00
Potential Discount(s)
Section Notes

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